Teachers Job Is To Teach, Students Job Is To Learn, A Paradigm Shift
Date : 06/01/2022
Teacher s job is to teach, student s job is to learn is a paradigm that has since shifted greatly in European countries but face tremendous inertia to change in Asian countries, where teacher-led classes are the dominant form of education. In this short article, I would like to highlight the benefits of student-led teaching.Student-led teaching encourages the development of metacognition. In other words, we allow students to think about how to learn by allowing practical hands-on experience. First, they will have to master the base knowledge but most importantly, figure out a way to teach their peers in a relatable and clear manner. By putting themselves in the shoe of an educator, they can learn how to organise the information in meaningful connections and perhaps use their prior knowledge as a foundation to decide a strategy to introduce new concepts. Interestingly, teachers could also participate in the student-led teaching by asking questions such as Why are we learning this? or How does this relate to this . By asking thought-provoking questions, allows students to model your behaviour but also open up meaningful discussion in the classroom.Another obvious benefit of student-led teaching is that students gain autonomy and a sense of contribution to the class community. The opportunity to contribute alongside a supportive class culture (can t stress this enough) helps the students gain confidence and most importantly, allow them to feel like they are accepted and belong in the class community. This non-cognitive aspect deserves attention as it directly impacts the student motivation to engage and learn. Furthermore, as students are able to decide what they want to learn, this provides a sense of control of what and how they learn. This potentially builds a trusting relationship between the students and the teachers.However, we have to acknowledge that this task can be daunting at the start, that s why is even more crucial that we provide support and perhaps use a scaffolding approach to slowly ease them into the process of teaching. An example would be an assignment to create a draft lesson plan followed by a group presentation of a single subsection of the topic and finally, when the students have confidence in their competency and growing familiarity with this process, we can then allow them to carry out student-led teaching individually. Notably, teachers should explicitly communicate what they meant by teaching. This could be effectively done by providing rubrics or a checklist. For example: Do they understand how to apply this information in X context? How do you relate this with previous topic X . This checklist serves to guide them to teach properly instead of just reading the textbook, defeating the main purpose for student-led teaching.This is potentially where teachers can start to learn . By observing how their students organise the information or present the information, we can effectively pinpoint the knowledge gaps or misconceptions they have. Thus, it serves as a great alternative to assessments to gauge students understanding of the topic. Furthermore, students can also play the role of the assessor and provide constructive feedback. Since it s their peers, they might feel more comfortable providing feedback which potentially helps the classroom as a whole to engage and improve.To conclude, the skills developed via student-led teaching is extremely helpful in light of the COVID pandemic. Learning loss is inevitable as not all students have the financial capability, or the adaptability required to switch their mode of study. Thus, learning to learn essentially, by involving the students in the lesson planning and teaching process is invaluable. Furthermore, by breaking the stereotypic teacher-student dynamic, we can potentially foster a more engaged classroom as they no longer see learning as a one-sided thing where teachers essentially feed them knowledge.
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